November 26, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

This Week's News Highlights

Our Service This Week

Holy Eucharist on Facebook and for those in person will be at 8:30 AM on Sunday. See below for how to attend by either mode of participation.
Do You Want Giving Envelopes for 2021?

Don't forget to let the church office know if you want us to order giving envelopes for 2021. We may make our order as early as late next week.

Help Save a Landmark With A Truly Special and Lasting Gift

Looking for a meaningful Christmas gift that will endure for years and help maintain and preserve St. Paul's as well? Please consider buying a personalized brick for the brick paver portion of the Memorial Garden.
A number of bricks were purchased and placed last year and earlier this year to support the centennial celebration for our main church building. This new campaign will support maintenance of the memorial garden and needed repair and restoration projects involving the Historic Rectory, main Church and other buildings on our campus.

The cost of a 4 x 8 brick is $100. Each brick will accommodate up to 3 lines and up to 18 characters per line, including spaces. You may order a Donor Brick with an additional donation of $35; this is a duplicate of the brick being placed in the garden. With an additional donation of $12 you may purchase a Donor Certificate to frame or to present on Christmas morning.

You can order your brick(s) here. (
Please Join Us In Our New "Parlor" For a Chat

Please consider joining our new Facebook Group, Members and Friends of St. Paul’s Key West.

The “Group” is different from our Facebook “Page.” The group is designed to partially replace the time we had together at coffee hour and other church events. It is designed to be a new living room where we talk in a more open and intimate place to exchange ideas, news and even jokes.

Procedures to reserve your space at services

This information is important

Currently, a limited number of people are allowed to attend services in accordance with diocesan protocols. If you would like to attend, you will be asked to sign up in advance. Contact information will be required.

To attend a Sunday please send an email to indicating the following information:

  • Your name and the names of any family or household members who will attend with you.
  • Your email address
  • Your cell phone number

Email is greatly preferred, but reservations can also be made by calling the church office at 305-296-5142. If nobody answers please leave a message with the information.

To allow for a proper count, and to allow volunteers to prepare for your attendance, please complete your reservation by 2 PM on the Thursday before the Sunday you wish to attend. Please remember that you must wear a mask for the entire service and please arrive 10 minutes before the service begins.

The check in form now allows for attendees to indicate on the Sunday they attend if they will attend the next Sunday. Unless there is a change in circumstances, you do NOT have to notify the office if this option is utilized.

Please remember if you are at risk or have been exposed to the virus to NOT attend right now. We are all together, whether via Facebook or in person, and we worship together both ways.
Sunday's Service

Join us Sunday for Holy Eucharist at 8:30 AM. Sign up in advance to attend in person (see above) or join us on Facebook.

To join via Facebook, go to the church Facebook page at the appropriate time and look for the window showing that "St. Paul's Key West is now live". Click on the window. (You may need to refresh the page a few times if the "live" window does not appear promptly at 8:30AM.)

Did you know you DO NOT need to have a Facebook account to view the service or visit our Facebook page? Simply use the Facebook page link to go directly to our Facebook page (even if you don't have your own Facebook account). Follow the directions above.

You can open or download the bulletin for the Sunday service here.

Junior Warden's Report
By Greta Philips-Ford
Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving! We will gather in the gardens on Saturday at 9:00 for volunteer work. Hope to see you there!

We will have updates on the "Virtual 12 Days of Christmas Run/Walk" next week--the event will be the weekend of December 12th. Mark your calendars!
Senior Warden's Report
By Ray Warren

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. This Sunday we start a new year in the Christian calendar with the First Sunday of Advent. I am away in Virginia this week, but I trust that Dave Eyer, Wendy Niven, Tim Peterson, Greta Philips-Ford and others will have the church sanctuary looking festive for the season. The Advent Candle itself is a wonderful reminder that, as life goes on, the promise of rebirth and renewal is always with us.

Christmas at St. Paul's

Probably the most difficult and weighty decision I’ve faced during my unexpected tenure as the secular leader of the parish has been what to about Christmas services. I am well aware that St. Paul’s has always been a significant part of Christmas in Key West. Many who rarely come to church on other days attend our Christmas services. Indeed, up to 600 people might join us in one of four services in a normal year.

But this year is not normal. A pandemic is claiming more people every week. A beloved member of the County Commission, his wife and child have been fighting for their lives in a Miami hospital. All of us know friends who have been stricken.

In light of the danger, I seriously pondered and prayed about canceling Christmas services at St. Paul’s entirely. We absolutely cannot endanger the community. Moreover, being known (after the fact) for a super spreader event would be devastating to our good reputation in the community and the entire country.

In consultation with the Vestry, our supply priest (Fr. Haughton) and Tim, our music director, I think we have (together) come up with a tentative plan to both observe the religious holiday and limit the danger to the community.

The current plan is to have three services. Two on Christmas Eve (at 5:30 and 8:00 PM) and a Morning Prayer service at 10:00 AM on Christmas Day. Each service will be limited strictly to 48 participants. Prior sign up will be required to assure a space. Yes, drop-ins will be accommodated, but only if there is space after all who have signed up are seated – and only up to the 48 person limit.

The 8:00 service on Christmas Eve will be broadcast live on our Facebook Page. In addition, to simulate as much as possible having a “midnight mass” late night service, the 5:30 service will be recorded and shown via Facebook Premier at 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve night.

I strongly encourage you to consider gathering your family at 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve night to join together via Facebook Premiere in the Holy Eucharist service. When a recording is shown on Facebook Premier the audience is invited to greet each other and to comment in real time just as in a live service. It is akin to a watch party, though in this case it will be a community faith gathering.

Having two Christmas (Eucharist) services early on Christmas Eve, and a Morning Prayer service (with organ) on Christmas Day is a way to allow our parishioners to attend, if they choose, in person. Not having the “midnight” service (which typically started an hour or more before midnight) reduces the chances of casual attendees who may be less familiar with our safety protocols.

Next Year, I hope St. Paul’s will be filled again - and that the happy songs of Christmas will ring out from both the organ and our voices. But we have just a bit longer in our exile from normalcy. Please keep the faith that the exile will end.
For generations Jews around the world toasted on important holy days with the words “next year in Jerusalem.” Let us show a similar faith. We are by necessity limited this year, but it will not be forever.

(Also, please check each week's Epistle and our Facebook Page as conditions change and even more adjustments need to be made.)


Sr. Warden Ray

Jr. Warden Greta


Church office (and administrator Lisa McCarthy):

Church office phone: 305-296-5142

Church mailing address: 401 Duval Street, Key West FL 33040. Pledges and offerings can be mailed here or made electronically at the church giving page.

Tim's Online Musical Offering Will Return the First Thursday in December

Remember, you can find prior recordings of past concerts and musical offerings on St Paul’s Facebook page, or on YouTube.

We Pray Each Day

Daily Morning and Evening Prayer is being offered on Facebook Live at 730 AM and 5 PM on weekdays.

Thanks to Bruce Hagemann, Lisa Laskow, Mary Simmons, Samantha Hall, Sarah Hall and Tim Peterson for volunteering to officiate at these sacred moments.

To join in the prayers via Facebook, go to the church Facebook page at the appropriate time and look for the window showing that "St. Paul's Key West is now live." Then click on the window.

"Like" us and turn on live notifications to get a reminder whenever we are offering prayers.

Please pray this week for healing for

Brittany (Sherri Hodies’ daughter), Beth and Jon Peterson (sister-in-law and brother of Tim), Mickey Malgrat, Peter Nanos, Zane Wruble (daughter of Kathleen Bratton), Mark Simcox (member of our chamber group, SCMS), Mark Sandground (husband of Judy Sandground), and Craig, Cheryl and Crystal Cates, and family.

We pray for the departed and their loved ones:

Adrienne Shryock (mother of Sarah Kindinger)

"Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servants"

(Send your prayer requests to for future publication and to be included in the Sunday service. By default requests will be listed for four (4) weeks. But if the need continues, please let us know.)

We celebrate these November birthdays

Jane Burchett 11/04
Mike Benfield 11/05
Ashley Cyrillien 11/06
Brian Howard 11/13
Charles Hammond, Jr. 11/14
Michelle Garcia 11/15
Nathaniel Harris 11/16
India Hall 11/18
Lorilee McDaniel 11/18
Jeff Hillard 11/19
Wally Senney 11/21
Lilla Whiteside 11/23
Manuel Acevedo 11/26
Shirley Albury 11/26
Joan Sammy 11/26
Sandra Highsmith 11/27
Sheri Sampson 11/27
Kristy Smith Callaway 11/30

(If your name is missing from this month's birthday list please send a note to so we can add it.)

We Celebrate November Anniversaries

Ronald & Sabrina Acevedo 11/01
Harvey & PK Lynch 11/08
Tim Peterson and Brian Wagstaff 11/09
Billy & Pamela Albury 11/17
Kip Colligan and Tiffany Hendry 11/22
Laurence & Alona Marius, Sr. 11/29
Lilla & Mark Whiteside 11/30
Our Raphael In the Mary Chapel

By Dave Eyer

(Resident parish historian Dave Eyer writes about the portrait that hangs behind the altar in the Mary Chapel.)

The painting above our Lady Chapel altar is a copy of a painting by the High Renaissance Italian artist Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (1483-1520). He is known to us and the English speaking world as Raphael. During his short lifetime Raphael produced at least 183 major paintings likely worth several billion dollars collectively today.

Our painting is known as the “Madonna del Granduca” and was painted in 1505 in oil on panel. It is similar in size to our copy. The Mary in our Madonna portrait is depicted as a tall young woman. I feel it is a good match for our statue of the Holy Mother with Christ Child.

The original of our Raphael is in the Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy. It became part of the ducal collection in the late 18th century hence its name. Our Madonna painting was restored about 15 years ago by parishioner Mark Annicelli. During the time our Madonna was away, Mark substituted a painting from his Madonna collection. I doubt if many St. Paul’s parishioners noticed.

Mark told me our Madonna is an old copy and well worth restoration. I do not know when our Madonna was placed in the church and by whom it was presented. Mark retired as accountant with the Spottswood Companies, Inc. and returned to his native Massachusetts about ten years ago.

Raphael produced at least ten different Madonnas by my count.   
Sunday school is canceled during the virus emergency.
Back issues of The Epistle are available here.

These communications are currently edited by Senior Warden Ray Warren. Send questions and comments to the editor here.